Hinds: Government aware of crime challenges

File photo: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.
File photo: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds says the trauma left behind by recent murders have not been lost on him, as the police have been working to better secure different communities.

He made the remark during the passing-out parade and ceremony for 106 police officers at the police barracks, St James, on Wednesday afternoon.

Noting that the murder toll for 2022 was close to crossing 500, Hinds said he was aware of the challenge posed by murders and called on recruits to do their part in pushing back against crime.

As of Wednesday morning, the murder toll was 495 compared to 340 for the same period last year.

He said criminals have virtually declared war against peace in society, and urged the new officers to prepare themselves for the challenges which come with law enforcement.

Referring to the recent murder of nine-year-old Jomol Modeste in Enterprise, Chaguanas, Hinds said he and acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob visited the community where he saw, firsthand, the effects of repeated crime and violence.

He said while information from the community suggested Jomol's murder was not intended by the gunmen, it was a tragic loss.

"This is the understanding of the community – on the block, that the criminals did not intend, per se, to harm young Jomol or to target him as a child, but simply decided, based on what they reported to us, to shoot-up the place before a party that was planned for the same night, presumably to chase away and frighten off those who were supposed to come to the party because they didn't want no party held on that ground.

"We lost him to ignorance, dumb, deaf, blindness, stupidity and emptiness.

"We walked about half an hour along Enterprise Street, the police and the people living in that area told me that almost every house in that community suffered the loss of some life.

"Isn't that a horrible thing?"

Hinds said another equally significant interaction he had in Enterprise was meeting a lifelong resident who feared being shot while walking along a nearby street.

"She explained, in demonstrating the extreme trauma that you recruits are called upon to protect the citizens of this country against, that as she walked along that road in Enterprise, every step of the way, she felt that a bullet was just about to enter her back. It couldn't get worse than that.

"So we are quite clear on what we are dealing with, and this country faces a serious crime challenge."

In spite of these challenges, Hinds said the government, through the different arms of the protective services, continues to stand firm in its duty, and highlighted different initiatives noting the recent seizures of high-powered rifles as testament to the work of the police.

During his remarks, acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob said while the new officers should feel proud for successfully completing their training, he encouraged them to be willing to patrol the communities they are assigned to protect.

He said while officers in recent times appeared to shy away from the task of patrolling, it was still a crucial part of protecting communities, and urged the officers to actively engage their communities to ensure maximum coverage.

Jacob stressed that while patrols alone would not be enough to prevent crime, it was a valuable exercise that all officers must be willing to do.

"I am saying that patrols will be a key factor in going forward for the crime situation.

"Over the past two years, the TT Police Service, in some persons’ experience, has lost the essence of the importance of patrolling.

"Officers in the police service today want to be everything else in the police service but not a patrol officer.

"I mentioned to them recently, the officers, that patrolling is the frontline, the backbone, the nucleus, the foundation of policing.

"We are asking you to join us as patrollers in your second task."

The officers are expected to begin their official duties from Friday, and several recruits were awarded trophies on the basis of their overall performance in training, marksmanship and physical fitness in male and female categories.


"Hinds: Government aware of crime challenges"

More in this section